The Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional—FSLN), more commonly known as Sandinistas, ruled Nicaragua from 1979 until 1990, attempting to transform the country along Marxist-influenced lines. The group formed in the early 1960s, and spent the first two decades of its existence engaged in a guerrilla campaign against the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza, receiving backing from Cuba which remained a close ally when the Sandinistas took office. With popular revulsion towards Somoza rising, in 1978 the Sandinistas encouraged the Nicaraguan people to rise up against his regime. After a brief but bloody battle, in July 1979 the dictator was forced into exile, and the Sandinistas emerged victorious. With the country in a state of morass, they quickly convened a multi-interest five-person Junta of National Reconstruction to implement sweeping changes. The junta included rigid Marxist and long-serving Sandinista Daniel Ortega, and under his influence Somoza’s vast array of property and land was confiscated and brought under public ownership. Additionally, mining, banking and a limited number of private enterprises were nationalized, sugar distribution was taken into state hands, and vast areas of rural land were expropriated and distributed among the peasantry as collective farms. There was also a highly successful literacy campaign, and the creation of neighborhood groups to place regional governance in the hands of workers.
   Inevitably, these socialist undertakings got tangled up in the Cold War period United States, and in 1981 President Ronald Reagan began funding oppositional “Contra” groups which for the entire decade waged an economic and military guerrilla campaign against the Sandinista government. Despite this and in contrast to other communist states, the government fulfilled its commitment to political plurality, prompting the growth of opposition groups and parties banned under the previous administration. In keeping with this, an internationally recognized general election was held in 1984, returning Ortega as president and giving the Sandinistas 61 of 90 parliamentary seats. Yet, in the election of 1990, the now peaceful Contra’s National Opposition Union emerged victorious, and Ortega’s Sandinistas were relegated to the position of the second party in Nicaraguan politics, a status they retain today.
   The Marxism of the Sandinistas offered an alternative to the MarxismLeninism of the Soviet Bloc and elsewhere. This emanated from the fact that the group attempted to blend a Christian perspective on theories of liberation with a fervent devotion to both democracy and the Marxian concepts of dialectical materialism, worker rule and proletariat-led revolution. The result was an arguably fairly successful form of socialism cut short by regional factors.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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  • Sandinistas — Flagge der FSLN Die Sandinistas, Anhänger und Mitglieder der Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, abgekürzt FSLN (deutsch: Sandinistische Nationale Befreiungsfront) waren eine linke Befreiungsbewegung in Nicaragua, die am 17. Juli 1979 an… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sandinistas — San|di|nis|tas, the n [plural] a ↑left wing political organization in Nicaragua in central America, who gained power in 1979 and got rid of the ↑dictator Somoza. They were the government of Nicaragua until they were defeated in elections in 1990 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Sandinistas —   / Sandinists  Revolutionary party in Nicaragua; named after General Augusto César Sandino (1895–1934), a Nicaraguan revolutionary …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Sandinistas — n. socialist revolutionary in Nicaragua; member of a leftist revolutionary movement in Nicaragua in 1979 …   English contemporary dictionary

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  • Nicaragua — Republic of Nicaragua República de Nicaragua …   Wikipedia

  • History of Nicaragua — Nicaragua and its seventeen departments. Nicaragua is the least densely populated nation in Central America, with a demographic similar in size to its smaller neighbors. It is located about midway between Mexico and Colombia, bordered by Honduras …   Wikipedia

  • Revolución Sandinista — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Se conoce como Revolución Sandinista, o Revolución Nicaragüense al proceso abierto en Nicaragua en 1978, y que se extendió hasta febrero de 1990, protagonizado por el Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (llamado …   Wikipedia Español

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